Apache Versus Microsoft IIS: Which Web Server is Better?

By Dru Macasieb

Two of the most popular web servers are Apache and Microsoft Internet Information Services IIS). The function of a web server isto deliver content to websites (Jasmine A, 2018). For example, if you run your own website, and it is most likely hosted by a web hosting company (such as Go Daddy) and chances are, they are using another web server software to host it.


One of the top web server software is Apache. Apache is a free, open-source web server (Cooper 2018). This means that web developers who use Apache can keep cost down, however, because it is free, funding is limited, therefore development is also limited. Apache web server developmentis done by volunteers, however, because of this, there are no dedicated customer service representatives to assist the user when they run into issues and need help. However, Apache does have a community of followers which have created documentation, frequently asked questions, and online discussion aimed at helping other Apache users resolve issues and get the most out of the web server.

Another benefit that Apache has over other web servers is that it is not restricted to one platform; developers can use Apache on other operating systems such. However, it is important to note that Apache is best suited for the Linux operating system as its been created to work with it seamlessly through a bundle of web service solutions know as LAMP (Cooper, 2018).  The acronym LAMP stands for, Linux (for the operating system, Apache (for the web server), MySQL (for the database), and PHP (for scripting).

Microsoft IIS

The other top web server is the industry is Microsoft IIS. Microsoft IIS is a proprietary system, whose underlying technology is compatible with web interfaces all around the world and has a number of protocols widely available to the public such as HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), and the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) (Cooper, 2018). One of the advantages of Microsoft IIS is that it has the resources (funding) to frequently update and patch it. This feature alone makes it more attractive to developers as the security features tend to be safer and more robust than open source web servers such as Apache. However, because Microsoft IIS is not open source, and it relies on continuous maintenance, therefore can be costly, why is why it isn’t free.

One huge advantage of Microsoft IIS is that it integrates with Microsoft’s ecosystem of applications which include .NET, ASPX scripting language, Active Directory, MS SQL server, and ASP to name a few (Sheehan, 2014). Microsoft IIS is best suited for developers that exclusively work on a Windows-based platform and that has embraced Microsoft’s family of products.


In my opinion, based on my research and experience on both web server platforms. I think that Microsoft IIS is the better web server for me because of it’s security features, its ability to integrate with a lot of Microsoft applications (which are widely popular and command a great market share of similar applications), and because it is a paid service, developers can expect a level of customer service and technical support as compared to Apache, who may lack the resources necessary to address novel issues that may arise. I am a MacOS user and an Apple enthusiast, and I should support Apache is the better web server. However, when it comes to efficiency, reliability, and security, I feel that Microsoft IIS has a clear advantage.


Cooper, S. (2018, November 30). IIS vs Apache- which server platform is best for you? Retrieved from https://www.comparitech.com/net-admin/iis-vs-apache/

Jasmine A. (2018, June 11).  Apache vs IIS: Which web server is best? Retrieved from http://www.100webhosting.com/apache-vs-iis-which-web-server-is-best/

Sheehan, M. (2014, May 14). Apache vs. IIS: Which web server should you chose?In Lunarpages. Retrieved from http://www.lunarpages.com/uptime/apache-vs-iis-which-web-server-should-you-choose

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